The weather is getting cooler, and the horses are beginning to put on horse blanket. Many people continue to ride horses during the winter months. It could be training at the club or enjoying the joy and beauty of winter outdoor riding. Traveling in the snow can be hard work for a horse, so even if you’re walking slowly, your horse will be sweating. There is nothing wrong with this, as long as you cool your horse down carefully (return to normal body temperature and heartbeat) and make sure to dry your horse’s sweaty coat before leaving your horse in the cold.
1. Cool down after riding
The process for cooling your horse after winter riding is the same as any other time of year. You can use a training jacket to cover the horse’s rump (largest muscle) before riding so that the horse’s muscles and lower back don’t get cold. The easiest way to start cooling off is to walk for 10 to 20 minutes, depending on how long and how hard you’re riding. Slow walking can dissipate the heat generated by the muscles. By noting your horse’s breathing rate, you can tell if it has recovered from training. Once the horse has returned to its normal resting breathing rate, you can dismount.
After dismounting, loosen the girth, leave the saddle, and put a coat or blanket over it so the cold air doesn’t hit the horse’s back too quickly. Go ahead, remove the saddle, and cover the horse with a sweat-absorbent jacket or blanket that completely covers the horse’s chest and rump. If your horse’s clothing or blanket gets wet, replace it with a dry one. When the horse hair starts to dry, the horse can be tied to a hitch post or stable.
2. Use a towel
Towels will help dry your horse’s wet coat faster, use absorbent towels to wipe your horse’s body, and replace towels when they become damp. If you ride a lot in the winter, it’s handy to keep some old towels handy. The combination of covering your horse with a horse coat and a strong absorbent towel will quickly wick moisture from the horse’s hair. Just uncover part of the horse coat and wipe it with a towel, and then cover the horse coat and wipe the rest of it for convenience.